Editor's Note: This piece was originally meant to post on the real Patriot's Day, April 19. The author of this piece has gone to his reward. However, I am told that Lee Robinson, the author of this article, lived on a farm in Tennessee where he raised exotic poultry and that he enjoyed target shooting and making life difficult for tyrants. After reading this piece, I think you'll come to appreciate Mr. Robinson and hopefully, your eyes will be opened to the tyranny that has festered in the United States of America.
It seems to me that nations and cultures in their rise and fall, follow patterns very similar to those that take place in the individual citizens who comprise them. Being much larger the cycles take longer to complete, but the difference is one of scale, not of essence. Nations and cultures pass from infancy through adulthood and into their dotage just as each person must. The rise of technology has speeded up this process but has not really altered it. If a country is born of healthy, intelligent people and is well off in resources, it will become strong and prosperous just as an individual would under like circumstances. If it is poor and its people are ignorant and desperate it may struggle but it will never succeed.
Certainly there is no better example of this than our own United States. Created by brave men and women and a serendipitous group of statesmen, blessed with natural abundance and good climate, we rapidly grew into the wealthiest and strongest of them all. But while our strength and riches are unparalleled they have come at the expense of the idealism and faith of our youth and this might therefore be a good time to recall some of the other great nations of the world and what they have become.
Consider Rome. Now consider modern day Italy. All that is left of the mighty Persian empire is irritating little Iran. Spain, France and even Portugal were all great powers in their day but those days are obviously gone. The vast British empire of Victoria, upon which the sun never set, has become a third world Socialist backwater. And we must not forget the mighty Egypt of the Pharaohs that endured for thousands of years only to become the petty state we know today. Of course, there were many others that simply ceased to exist entirely; the Incas, the Maya, the Khmer etc.
I mention all this because there are signs of decay showing up more and more in our own America, and here in Massachusetts where it all began, the process of decline is perhaps farthest along. The celebration of Patriots Day on April 15, income tax day, is what put me in mind of all this. Patriots Day is actually April 19 and it commemorates the events that began the Revolution and thus created the United States. A prime cause of those events was burdensome taxes and the remote English government that understood little about our people and cared less.
It seems bizarre to commemorate those brave men at Lexington while simultaneously signing off on the confiscation of more tax money than the British ever tried to take by a government of our own creation that is just as distant and disrespectful as they were. But the people of Massachusetts have been taxed and regulated into such dependency on government that the state resembles nothing so much as a huge nursing home. And like the residents of such places, citizens of the Bay State can hardly afford to take charge of their own lives again, and don't seem to want to anyway.
Certain situations underscore this sad decline; the Boston Harbor Tunnel is probably the most notorious. Known as The Big Dig or The Big Pig or sometimes The Ted Kennedy of Public Works Projects, it is 600% over budget and has become the most expensive undertaking of its kind ever. Rife with incompetence, graft, theft, bribes, kickbacks and fraud; still the worn out population suffers its existence and gives no thought to control or accountability. It is a Government project and somehow that makes it OK. They will straighten it all out. They will continue to take care of us. Just keep giving them almost half of all we earn, every year, and we will be safe. It's frustrating to see things degenerate like that but even worse, at least symbolically, is the incident of Captain Parker's Musket.
On the morning of April 19, 1775 Capt. John Parker and about 70 Minutemen met the British Regulars on Lexington green. The Redcoats ordered them to turn over their weapons and disperse. They refused, as Massachusetts men would have done 200 years ago. A battle ensued, the first in our war for independence, and 8 Minutemen were killed. That is what we commemorate on Patriot's day. Among those 70 brave men who stood up to the soldiers of one of the world's most powerful empires were 8 pairs of fathers and their sons fighting side by side for freedom. Of course we all know how it turned out. A new country was born, blessed with the best of everything and destined to become the greatest ever. But destined too to grow old someday and not care anymore about freedom.
And so today we remember the Captain and his courageous soldiers and while doing so we dutifully hand over the fruits of our labor and diminish once again the little scraps of freedom that are left. And in the Massachusetts Senate chamber the musket that Captain Parker carried on that glorious day hangs high up on the wall. And in accordance with state law, on that musket there is a trigger lock. And that says it all.